Werner Schiffauer

Migration and the Structure of the Imaginary

Migration theory is characterized by a big divide. One side is populated by postcolonial and postmodern authors who discuss hybridity, fragmentation, creolization, localization, and similar phenomena. The other side is occupied by political economy approaches that concentrate on issues such as the globalization of capital or the construction of transnational networks and examine factors that determine migration decisions or the flow of savings. The former focus on the symbolic realm – formation of subjectivities, racism, heterogeneity, counter publics – while the latter analyze the ‘hard stuff’ – migration routes, opportunity structures, and so on. Both approaches exist side by side ...

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